Program Description

This Master of Arts program is designed to prepare professionals for careers in the growing field of cultural resource management.  For students wanting only the one-year Graduate Certificate in Cultural Resource Management, please visit our Graduate Certificate Website.

For our Master of Arts program, students can choose from three primary fields of study — anthropology, history and museum studies — and have the opportunity to work closely with an advisor to design an academic program plan that meets specific needs and goals.

Practitioners in this multifaceted field assist private and government entities in identifying cultural resources such as archaeological and historical sites, culturally or historically significant structures, and culturally significant locations or resources; assessing such sites and resources; and developing plans for their preservation, curation and ethical use.

The program will prepare professionals who can pursue careers either as independent contractors or through employment in government and private non-profit agencies dedicated to the preservation and understanding of cultural heritage.

Our graduates have gone on to careers in museums; archives; historic sites; national parks; and other federal, state, and non-profit agencies.

Employment in all three of these fields is trending upward. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of archivists and museum curators is expected to grow by 13 percent through 2026, translating to more than 13,000 new jobs created. Over the same time period, employment for historians is projected to grow by 6 percent and anthropologists and archaeologists by 4 percent.

Research Opportunities and Assistantships

Students have opportunities to work with faculty on research projects and contracts that result in scholarly publication and technical reports.  Internships in museum studies and public history provide opportunities for developing exhibits and professional presentations.

CMU's program benefits from research and museum space where students get hands-on experience, including the Museum of Cultural and Natural History, the Clarke Historical Library, and the Leonard Lieberman Anthropology Laboratory.  CMU's College of Graduate Studies and College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences offer graduate research and presentation grants.

The cultural resource management program considers a graduate student's research to be a vital part of their education. To recognize and reward high-quality research, the cultural resource management program will provide support up to $500 for graduate students whose research or creative endeavors are accepted for presentation at the state, national or international level.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the general university application requirements, cultural resource management program applicants also must provide the following:

  • Evidence of an overall grade point average of 3.0
  • Evidence of at least 18 hours of coursework in anthropology, history, museum studies, or cognate fields
  • An essay (two or three pages, double-spaced) which includes a discussion of professional goals, how the applicant's background will lead to success in the program, and how the program will assist the applicant in achieving her or his goals. This essay will replace the written statement requested as part of the application to the College of Graduate Studies.
  • Three letters of recommendation from former professors or professionals in a field related to cultural resource management that attest to the applicant's potential to succeed in the program.
  • If the applicant is an international student for whom English is not the first language, a score of 79 or higher on the iBT Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or 6.5 IELTS.
  • Per university policy, conditional admission may be considered for applicants with backgrounds or grade point averages that do not meet these requirements.  Courses taken to meet these requirements may not be counted toward graduate degree requirements.  Regular admission status should be requested upon completion of all conditional requirements.
  • Students may transfer up to nine hours of graduate credit in consultation with a program advisor.

Application deadlines for Fall admission are Feb. 1, and for Spring admission are Sept. 30. 

Apply online at Applications for graduate assistantships must be made directly to the cultural resource management program.

Graduation Requirements

In addition to coursework, cultural resource management students must complete the following requirements:

  • One fieldwork or internship experience
    • ANT 500:  Field School in Archeology;
    • HST 595: Internship in Public History; or
    • MST 598:  Museum Internship
  • One supervised capstone experience. Choose either:
    • An anthropology/cultural resource management thesis;
    • A history thesis; or
    • A creative endeavor in museum studies.
  • Pass a comprehensive examination on laws and ethics relevant to cultural resource management.

Related Degrees/Certificates

CMU also offers a Master’s of Arts in History, Joint MA in History and Joint Ph.D. in History programs, and a Graduate Certificate in Cultural Resource Management. Please consult your advisor to choose the program and courses that will best help you reach your goals.

Career Outlook

For More Information

Cultural Resource Management Program
Anspach Hall 106
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
Telephone: (989) 774-3822
Fax: 989-774-7106

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